Persistent or Chronic pain

Persistent (often called chronic pain) pain is a real problem in modern society. Almost 1 in 3 people in the western world have experienced ongoing pain lasting more than 3 months (18-53% people in uk, 2017 – dependent on age group).

It can be extremely distressing and waring when you are in discomfort for so long and have no signs of the problem resolving. This often affects activity levels, ability to work, the quality and quantity of sleep, ability to focus, enjoyment of life in general and of course will put strain on close relationships. In other words, being in pain all the time impacts on every aspect of your life, and can make you feel miserable.

Accessing good quality care for chronic pain is often extremely difficult. Although there are numerous differing approaches to dealing with chronic pain, many of them simply don’t focus on the driving factors of the pain. Pain is often a complex problem, and single treatment modalities do not cure all. Establishing the contributing factors of what is driving the pain is key. This is done through the lens of a bio-psycho-social perspective, taking all aspects of your physical, mental/ emotional, and behavioural well-being into consideration.

Our approach to Chronic pain is used in all our interactions and all our treatments with every patient. If you don’t have persistent pain, we don’t want you developing it! If you do, we can explore multiple aspects of your life and behaviour to ensure you are getting the best treatment possible.

How can we help with Chronic Pain

Physis Physiotherapy has often pioneered treatment approaches in Scotland (Cognitive Functional Therapy, Vimove Technology) and we are the first healthcare provider in Scotland to offer a new evidence-based Stanford University 2-hour lecture for chronic pain called Empowered Relief (TM). This has been shown to be as effective as 8 weeks of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) in reducing pain. It involves a single 2-hour interactive lecture that equips you with the tools you need to control and reduce your pain. Studies have shown that this has a lasting effect when measured 3 months later. One-to-one treatment sessions consist of approaches based on Cognitive Functional Therapy and Pain Reprocessing Therapy. The benefit being a combination of dealing with physical restrictions and limitations together with maladaptive thoughts and emotions that can also help drive the pain. As physiotherapists we are well placed to make informed judgments on the contributions of all domains on the pain problem. Depending on what we find, we will formulate a plan to start to resolve the problem. Many interventions in the area of chronic pain look to enhance your coping strategies to improve your ability to deal with your pain. There is now a growing body of evidence that, even though the pain may have been with you for years, recovery from this is possible when treatment is directed in the correct areas. At Physis, we believe in empowering you, but also supporting you through the journey as much as you feel you need. This means that you are always at the heart of the decision making process and will make the choices of how involved we need to be, whether this is in an educator role, informing you of what you need to do to address your problem, or supporting you all the way through the process with multiple sessions. We understand that people have differing financial constraints and we will always try to cater to your needs and ability to attend. In other words you can achieve a lot in just one session.

Chronic pain recovery programme

As an affiliated clinic to SIRPA you can work with us and go through an online Chronic pain recovery programme, or just do this on your own. You can access the SIRPA recovery programme here:


If you are interested in attending an Empowered Relief workshop, or if you would like a 1-2-1 consultation for your chronic pain please let us know by emailing us on [email protected] or phoning 0131 478 4646.

These services are available at our Trinity and Westwood Edinburgh Physiotherapy clinics or on-line.